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April 24, 2013

Justin Rose


DOUG MILNE:  Justin Rose, thank you for joining us for a few minutes here on a rainy Wednesday at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans.  We appreciate your time.  Seven starts you've made here in the past coming off a top 10 finish here last year at TPC Louisiana.  So, with that, just some thoughts on being back here and looking forward to getting started tomorrow?
JUSTIN ROSE:  Yeah, absolutely.  I mean, it's always great to be back in New Orleans.  We were just talking about it walking over to the press conference.  But fun town.  You always get a sense you're somewhere different in the United States when you come here to New Orleans.  Always enjoy the week from that perspective.  Obviously, I have a personal relationship with Zurich.  It's fun for me to see a bunch of people that I regard now as friends.
But in terms of a golf tournament, the tournament is getting stronger and stronger every year.  I think all of the players recognize it as one of the most well‑run tournaments that there is.  It's a fun tournament to be a part of and to play.
The golf course has gotten better and better every single year, it feels like.  I think I'm slowly learning how to play it.
DOUG MILNE:  Coming into the week, how are you feeling about your game?
JUSTIN ROSE:  Yeah, obviously, I'm sounding a bit croaky, but I feel better than I sound.  I'm not really sure where this came from.  It sort of sprung up yesterday.  But my game's in good shape.  Augusta was close to being a really good week.  Just sort of peaked out of it on the weekend which was disappointing.  I felt like maybe I got there a little too early and maybe ran out of a bit of steam, possibly.  But hitting the ball very, very well, and just waiting for a big week to come along.  But my game's in good shape.

Q.  How is the rain going to affect the play tomorrow, depending on how much they get.  I know the course drains very well.  But you've played here before, so how do you think the rain's going to change how you approach tomorrow?
JUSTIN ROSE:  Yeah, I mean, as we've seen in professional golf, soft golf courses only make it easier.  The greens can be fairly small in some places here, but if they're soft, they're not going to play as small.  So I expect it will help us scoring for the next day or two.  But by the weekend the weather actually looks good, I believe, for Thursday, Friday and Saturday.  So by the time we get to the week, the course will be in perfect shape again and playing a little firmer and faster.
It's a fairly long golf course from that sense, but doesn't often play that way because the ball rolls out on the fairways quite a bit.  So it might just begin to play yardage again.

Q.  You've got a nice streak of top 25s worldwide going back to even last year.  Now it's a really impressive streak.  Is there one part of your game that you feel like if you get a little bit sharper, you'll take that next level and start picking up and racking up wins here in 2013?
JUSTIN ROSE:  Yeah, whenever I've won tournaments, I've putted well.  I think it goes without saying, anybody that wins a golf tournament putts well.  So I can putt well; I do putt well, and that's probably one area of my game that hasn't been as consistent as the rest of it.  So that's the next level for me.
The thing with putting is you can't put your finger on it a lot of time about why you're not making putts.  My stroke is perfect for the most part, but a lot of it is confidence.  I think now I've really applied myself to my putting the last year or so and made some great changes with my putting stroke to the point where I think it's time to forget all of that and really get ‑‑ you hear players talk about it all the time, but get back into the art of putting.
It's definitely the signs of having a good putting stroke, but that often doesn't get the ball in the hole.  So maybe being a little bit more reactive to what you see out there and being a little bit more free on the greens will hopefully help.

Q.  Is it frustrating at all?
JUSTIN ROSE:  Oh, yeah, yeah, always.  Doesn't matter how often when you play really, really well, it can be a source of frustration if you're not converting that good play.  That play happened at Augusta a little bit.
But the important thing is I don't get frustrated by it.  I've taken a decision this week to be more positive about my putting and only talk positively about my putting.  I'm a good putter.  I've set a record, a PGA TOUR record at Bay Hill not too long ago.  I played Augusta the last tournament.  Before that it was Bay Hill where I set a PGA TOUR record of six‑plus strokes gained in my first round.
It's all there.  I've just got, like I said, I've got to keep doing it, keep believing in it, and that will show up more consistently for me.

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